In a world where the media regularly outs companies for their troublesome exploits, the game of brand survival has changed. Businesses that try to rip customers off risk being slammed across multiple social and traditional media platforms. In order to strengthen brand identity and prevent reputational ruin, a new phenomenon has emerged: the â€˜thank-you economy’.
The term was coined by Gary Vaynerchuk and describes a new way of doing business which puts the customer back at the centre of the experience. Companies now celebrate success by publicly posting outstanding reviews on their social media accounts and have been led by their customers to become more environmentally friendly and socially responsible.
As customer approval becomes an increasingly valuable commodity, it’s more important than ever to re-align your business to suit this new customer-centric world.
Sincere over sterile
Traditionally, companies and employees have been encouraged to remain professional during interactions with customers. However, in this day and age, professionalism can come across as sterile. We’re not suggesting you turn up at the office in your pyjamas, but it’s important to make sure that you don’t distance yourself from customers by being too formal and aloof. If you’re truly looking to impress your customers, why not treat them as you would a friend?
While most people see large corporations as powerhouses of influence, it is interesting to note that this is a two-way relationship and customers also wield significant influence over corporations. From environmentally-friendly policies to philanthropic ventures, these companies represent moral values as well as a product or service. The days of profits over people are slowly declining, as one bad review picked up by the media could mean plummeting stocks.
The feel-good factor
Whether it is free shipping with your online order or great advice given away for nothing, everyone loves the feeling of getting something extra for free. By offering great value, your customers will feel as if you have truly gone above and beyond. If you are unable to offer anything for free, you can still â€˜surprise and delight’ customers by going above and beyond with your service. This special treatment can keep them coming back for more, whether it’s in the form a smiley face drawn on your coffee cup or a barista that remembers your name. Through small things like this, customers are much more likely to align with your brand.
At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel that they have been heard. If you can make your customers feel as though you care about them, then you’re doing something right. Speaking of being heard – we would love to hear from you! Feel free to get in contact with us if you have any further questions.